All campaign mudslinging aside, which is the context in which Duterte was negatively compared to Trump, the new Philippine President is also an out-of-the-box unconventional thinker when it comes to foreign affairs. He said that his nation would speak one-on-one with China and that he’d be eager to see Beijing build a railroad and other infrastructure projects through his island archipelago.
He also said that while he will honor the “Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement” that his predecessor signed, that he would do so – quote – “from a position of strength”, which could mean that he might eventually back out of it if the US oversteps its legal limits.
Because of his surprising rise to national prominence and the likelihood that his foreign policy will spell trouble for the US’ Pivot to Asia, new Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte is our MAN IN THE NEWS this week. To discuss this in more detail we are joined by Gleb Ivashentsov, member of the Russian Council for International Relations and former ambassador to South Korea and Myanmar (studio guest); Bryce Swerhun, researcher at the City University of Hong Kong; and Wan Ahmad Fayhsal, Malaysian political commentator.